Dave Hansen of Vari-Prop is pretty excited about the company’s newest product, a four-blade, variable-pitch propeller for warbird replicas that will bolt on to basically any engine that can turn it, no matter whether the crankshaft is hollow or solid.
Vari-Prop can do that because all of its constant-speed propellers are operated by a master hydraulic cylinder run by an electric motor controlled by a circuit board, as opposed to the traditional constant-speed props, which use engine oil regulated by a governor.
The Vari-Prop hydraulic master cylinder and electronic rpm sensor, which only weighs 3.5 lbs, can be mounted anywhere on the airplane, Hansen says. “And our ground-adjusting system for setting takeoff pitch is so simple. Just turn one bolt to change all the blades’ pitch at once. Tighten the bolt to set and then go fly.”
Vari-Prop blades are lightweight wood covered with composite and embedded with leading-edge protection. “We’ve worked hard to make the four-blade prop look authentic,” says Hansen.
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